Inclusive Growth – Poverty,
Inequality and Employment
Fabio Veras Soares, Raquel Ramos and Rafael
Asia Public Policy Forum 2013
May 28-30, 2013
2. Inclusive Growth: Building a concept
Inclusive growth has become a central idea in the
development literature and in the political
discourse in many countries.
However, there is no clear consensus about what it
entails and how to measure it.
How does it differ from the concept(s) of pro-poor
How would an inclusive growth approach
contribute to the development policy thinking?
3. Inclusive Growth: Building a concept
Ramos, R. and Ranieri, R. (2013) “Inclusive Growth: Building
up a concept”. IPC-IG Working paper series, N. 104.
Ramos, R; Ranieri, R and Lammens, J. (2013) “Mapping
Inclusive Growth”. IPC-IG Working paper series, N. 105.
Ramos, R. and Ruhl, D. (2013) “The Employment to Population
ration as an indicator of Participation and Inclusiveness”.
IPC-IG Policy Research Brief, N. 39.
4. Growth, Poverty and Inequality…
1950s – 1970s:
–Trade‐offs between growth and income inequality
–Trickle-down effects of growth
–Development as an inevitable progression
1970s – 1980s:
–Poverty constrains economic growth
–Development requires engagement
Since the late 1990s:
–MDGs: targets require policies & coherent strategies
–Growth alone is not sufficient. How to ensure that growth
ameliorates the lot of the poor? – pro-poor
–What about inequality? Gradually integrated
5. Inclusive Growth: Building a concept
Kuznet’s hypothesis – inverted U relationship
between growh and inequality.
Natural evolution process – one should not worry
about inequality – it is positive for growth and it will
eventudally be brought down by the growth process
itself through a trickle down process.
Experience of many developing countries defies this
interpretation as different growth trajectories were
observed and a turning point was not a natural
Growth that generates inequality could bring down
growth potential as the poor would under-invest in
their human capital bringing down productivity and
6. Pro-poor growth
Redistributive policies have the potential to
promote/enhance the growth process.
Growth and equity can and should go hand in hand
as a result of the rejection of the Kuznet’s
Asian tiger’s had a major role in showing that rapid
and sutained growth could take place with stable
and low inequality.
Despite recognizing the centrality of growth for
poverty reduction, the literature started
acknowledging that redistributive growth was more
effective for poverty reduction than distribution-
7. Pro-poor growth
The notion of pro-poor growth was a clear response
to the trickle down approach. But there was no
consensus with regard to its definition… Is pro-poor
growth any growth that benefits the poor?
“Weak absolute pro-poor growth” (Glosse et al.
2008) – any growth episode during which the
poverty rate declines, regardless to what happens to
“Weak relative pro-poor growth” – it requires than
the poor people income grows at a higher rate than
the richer people. In this case, pro-poor growth also
“Strong absolute inequality” – absolute increases in
income of the poor are larger than absolute
increases in the income of the wealthier.
8. Pro-poor growth
Policy implication: how to promote pro-poor
Bias toward the poor? (Kakwani & Pernia, 2003)
Promoting growth would favour the poor? (Dollar
and Kray, 2000)
Growth with redistribution would help to accelerate
poverty reduction. (Ravallion, 2004).
Non-income dimension: multidimensional poverty
makes brings more complexity to the assessment of
pro-poorness of growth.
9. Inclusive Growth
Kakwani and Pernia (2000) “pro-poor growth as a
growth process that enables the poor to actively
particpate in and significantly benefit from economic
activity”- a inclusive economic growth.
Pro-poor growth: focus on poverty and inequality
(level and distribution of income) with non-income
dimension incorporated later (still as outcomes –
Inclusive growth: process – the idea of participation,
beyond benefit-sharing. Opposite of participation is
exclusion – vulnerable groups.
10. Inclusive Growth
Other views: all should benefit from the growth
process. Non-zero sum game – the benefit of the
poor helps to increase benefit for the richer.
Ali and Son (2007) focus on opportunities rather
Ianchovichina and Lundstrom (2009) focus on the
sustainability of the growth process and emphasis on
the need to foster “productive employment”.
Pro-poor and inclusive growth can be differentiated
by the focus on the “process” of the latter: extensive
contribution of inputs from the labour force and
non-discrimination (Klassen, 2010).
11. Inclusive Growth
Empirical challenge – how to measure IG:
Benefit-sharing: poverty and inequality (Outcome)
Participation: participation in the labour market in a
productive/decent fashion and no discrimination of
specific groups (ethnic, age and gender based
discrimination) – process and outcome.
12. Inclusive Growth
McKinley (2010) IG index based on ADB Long-Term
Strategic framework 2008-2020 based on the notion
that IG entails:
i) Achieving sustainable growth that will create and
expand economic opportunities, and
ii) Ensuring broader access to these opportunities so
that members of society can participate in and
benefit from growth.
Components: productive employment; economic
infrastructure, income poverty and equity, gender
equity, human capabilities and social protection.
13. Inclusive Growth
Difficulties in measuring the process:
Productive employment –
identified as the key missing element/input, but how
to define what is productive employment.
Classification may vary from country to country.
Sector/wage-based classification may lead to
different results. Lack of data.
EPR is more general: low EPR is not inclusive, but high
EPR is not always good, given large proportion of
working poor in very poor countries.
14. Inclusive Growth
Ravallion and Chen (2003) x
Osmani (2004)* x
Stewart (2004)* x
Bhalla (2007) x x x
Ianchovichina, Lundstrom and Garrido
(2009) x x x x
Habito (2009) x
McCulloch and Baulch (2000) x x x
Kakwani and Pernia (2000) x x x
White and Anderson (2001) x
Son (2003) x x
Kakwani, Khandker and Son (2004) x x x
Son and Kakwani (2004) x x x
Kraay (2004) - IMF x x
Minujin (2004)* x x x
Lipton (2004)* x x
White (2004)* x
Ali and Son (2007) x x
Grosse, Harttgen, and Klasen (2008) x x x
Son and Kakwani (2008) x x
Klasen (2010) x x
Rauniyar (2010) x
Kanbur (2010) x x x x x x x
McKinley (2011) x x x x x x x x x x
15. The concept of Inclusive Growth
16. Inclusive Growth
An intuitively straightforward and yet elusive
concept; that determines policy objectives!
What makes growth inclusive?
How to assess the relationship between growth and
any element of inclusiveness?
Deeming a growth episode inclusive is sufficient to
establish that the process of growth and the country
GDP versus Familiy’s income: National accounts and
Household survey data.
GDN 14th Annual Global
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McKinley, T. (2010). ‘Inclusive Growth
Criteria and Indicators: An Inclusive Growth
Index for Diagnosis of Country Progress’,
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International Policy Centre for Inclusive